By Simon Barget
Upturned flaccid sack
the only sign life ever once was
is in the blank discs of the eyes,
black and stuck against that blotchy white,
something leveling all the way back to the throat
a remnant of life-force perhaps, its overtones,
an energy being stored,
and of course the pall of frantic searching whilst fleeing,
twitchy, sheer panic
or then again seeing something wholly new in the imminent promise of death
or just the plain shock, poor thing.
The limbs are rigid, stuck,
stuck in the position of that desperate life-saving commotion
and now with the rump down belly to sky,
the angles recall a dying fly’s flailing legs.
Surprising is how real and humane the compassion,
not necessarily mine, but its own for itself,
self-possessed, somehow self-aware,
surprising how much human feeling broadcast in the fact of its just laying
free and uncensored,
surprising how I yelp and how I shudder, how much I truly care.
Who then must come and help it to the side of the road?
Just picked up by two men’s rough hands, no time to give a shit,
always neatly bedded though astride the line of the inner abutment
or the hard-shoulder on the outside,
the US-yellow-painted lines
but they don’t take them nor are they covered
left to stare into nothing as we know we’re relieved it’s not us.